A World Cup year makes betting on rugby a bit of a gamble

CAPE TOWN – A week ago I picked the Stormers to beat the Jaguares on my Superbru, but I also bet on the Jaguares not to lose by eight or more. For a quarter of an hour it looked a good bet. That was R1000 lost and it got worse when England imploded against Scotland in the final Six Nations match and Wales were brilliant in hammering Ireland.

I wrote a week ago that my pre-tournament bet included England winning the championship, scoring the most tries and most points. I got back on the latter two and was willing to sacrifice on the Championship bet for a Welsh win.

These are wonderful days for Welsh rugby supporters. Allow us the rare celebration because I grew up always hoping for this kind of Welsh glory but never quite believing it was possible. It was a great day to be Welsh and a supporter of the Red Dragons.

It also gave us another reminder of how much can change so quickly in a World Cup year. Just a few months ago Ireland were being talked about as the team to dethrone New Zealand in Japan. After two rounds of the Six Nations it was England, and now it is said to be Wales.

There’s lots of rugby to be played before the World Cup, let alone in the World Cup.

71869571 - A World Cup year makes betting on rugby a bit of a gamble
A World Cup year makes betting on rugby a bit of a gamble. Photo: EPA/Riccardo Antimiani

I primarily focus my column here on rugby picks but you can visit my site (moneymansa.co.za) for my insights into other sports. Thankfully Rory Mclroy came good for me last weekend, which meant a profitable and enjoyable betting weekend.

The Jaguares aside, the cautions and predictions were on the money.

I got back R1900 on my R1000 bet that the Rebels would not lose by eight or more. I had a suspicion that this one would be a one-score game either way and so it proved with the Lions winning 36-33.

I also cautioned against dismissing the Chiefs against the Canes and said ‘stay away from the Sunwolves versus Reds’. The former ended in a draw and the Reds won by two points. My theme last weekend was be cautious because so many of the match-ups could go either way.

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This weekend’s focus is on the Stormers visit to the Hurricanes.

I think the 14½ points spread given to the Stormers is way too generous to the home team. I have the Stormers to cover that. They have confidence after three successive wins and the Hurricanes are resting three of the in-form All Blacks in hooker Dane Coles, scrumhalf TJ Perenara and centre Ngani Laumape.

I am putting R2000 on the Stormers not to lose by 15 or more to get back R3800.

The Sharks are favourites to beat the Rebels, the Lions are also favourites to win away from home against the Sunwolves and the Bulls are favourites to beat the Chiefs in Pretoria.

I am also going to have a punt on the Rebels again this weekend. The bookies have given them a 9½ point start and I believe the match will be a one-score differential.

I am putting R1000 on the Rebels not to lose by 10 or more to get back R1900.

Kevin Ferguson

* Kevin Ferguson is the chief executive of Highbury Media and a leading sports betting authority in South Africa. Follow him on www.moneymansa.co.za

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